Title: Letter of 28 May 1919 from T. Murray to R. A. Rigg
Author: Murray, Thomas Joseph, 1875-1954
Source: Archives of Manitoba, MG 14 B 43, Richard Arthur Rigg, Descriptive List
Page 4 of 4


R. A. R. -4-
carried on between a committee representing the strikers
and the committee of citizens in a very friendly spirit,
with mutual confidence and with real success was a
pleasant thing to me and somehting to give hope to the
Never was your absence from the ranks of labor
so conspicuous as during this strike. We were without a
leader; there is not one outstanding man in the whole
crowd and I couldn't see anyone who gave promise or real
leadership in the future. Ernie Robinson is doing very
well indeed; I have been very favorably impressed with
him and with his work, but he is a long way yet from being
a leader and what labor needs in Winnipeg at the present
time more than anything else, is strong and sane leadership.
At bottom most of those young fellow are thoroughly sound.
I even got to like Johns in spite of his radicalism. Bob
Russell is a first rate fellow although inclined to appear
an extremist. Harry Veitch is the same blundering well
intentioned Harry as of yore. Tipping was alright too.
In fact it cannot be said that there was any dangerous
element anywhere. Everyone was good natured and everybody
kept his head as level as possible and did the best he could.
Never was labor in this City on so unpopular a side as this
time; the City as a whole were united against labor almost
as strongely as labor was united within itself. While the
citizens have much to learn, so has labor. Everyone in
labor must have realized that it is not the indispensable
necessity in the operation of the public utilities that it
thought it was. The several unions would probably have
been beaten had it not been for the extent of the sympathetic
strike. Certainly electrician, water works employees and
the teamsters could without any real difficulty have been
beaten. The strike of the firemen of course strenghened
their position but question whether without the telephone
girls and the Street Railway employees, they could have won
out. Miss Meakin is a brick. She was one of the best
men on the job. I never expect to again see either a fire-
men's strike or a telephone strike in Winnipeg. I am
assuming of course that both sides will learn lessons and
do serious thinking in the future before hasty action.
Assuming this to be correct, such strikes will be impossible.
Of course without thinking and with hasty action anything
is possible. But surely labor missed you, your leadership and
your sane, sound forcible views sorely, within the past
two or three weeks. I would like to think that you would
return some time in the future to your old position. You
are certainly needed there. Looking to the future, I don't
know any bigger or more necessary work thatn the proper

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